Reuters has reported that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine performed better than expected in a major late-stage trial, potentially paving the way for its emergency use authorization in the United States and bolstering confidence in the shot after numerous setbacks in Europe.
The drug maker said that trials in Chile, Peru and the United States found the vaccine, developed in conjunction with Oxford University, was 79 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and posed no increased risk of blood clots. AstraZeneca intends to request U.S. emergency use authorization in the coming weeks.
More than a dozen European countries, including Germany and France, had halted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this month after some reports linked it to blood clots in a very small number of people. They have since resumed inoculation after a regional regulator said it was safe. An opinion poll conducted showed Europeans remained skeptical over its safety.
The latest data should help address some of those concerns, analysts said. Based on more than 32,000 people, the trial was larger and elderly volunteers featured more prominently than in previous trial results from the U.K., which had prompted some European countries to initially hold back using the AstraZeneca shot on older people.